For many people, Euroa has been just a name on a big green sign ever since the completion of the Hume Highway bypass in 1992.
It's a popular stopover for people heading to and from Sydney or Victoria's snowfields; however, all most of them see of the historic north-east Victorian town are the fuel pumps and Maccas at the giant Shell service centre.
But there is something else at the servo's giant car park that makes this an attractive destination for EV owners – a Chargefox charging station with four DC terminals that complement the Tesla Supercharger station in town.
Euroa is also just 162km from Melbourne and about the same distance from Albury. This brings it in real-world range of most EVs, with some - like the Hyundai Kona Electric - able to easily make it there and back.
But it would be a shame to just stop in Euroa just to charge your EV, as there some great hidden gems to explore, making it a nice and relatively quiet place to spend a day or two.
There’s plenty to see around Euroa, particularly if you venture east of the Hume Freeway into the Strathbogie Tableland, which has some great driving roads amongst the spectacular rocky outcrops.
These lead to some easily accessible attractions, including Polly McQuinns, a weir on Seven Creeks located 25km from town.
Once a natural creek, it was dammed in the 1920s creating a spillway and deep-water pool that at low flow makes for an inviting swimming spot.
An even better place to cool off is Gooram Falls, which is downstream from Polly McQuinns and a 10km drive away. Located in a rugged gorge the falls consist of two cascades separated by a flat rocky area.
It's quite a sight at peak flows, and during drier times you can walk right down to the rocks to dip your feet or have a splash.
Getting close to the water at the upper falls can be a challenge for some because of all the rocks, but there is a moderate walking track leading to the lower falls.
The entrance to the falls off the Euroa-Mansfield Road isn’t very well signposted so if using GPS slow down as you approach the turn as it’s easy to miss.
The car parks at Polly McQuinns and Gooram Falls have barbecue facilities and are easily accessible by two-wheel-drive vehicles all year.
Driving between the two we decided to check out the Forlonge Memorial on the road of the same name.
The well-kept monument commemorates Eliza Forlonge, who with her sister-in-law Janet Templeton, introduced the first fine-wool Saxon merino sheep into Victoria.
I must confess my reasons for going there was really to try the Kona Electric on the gravel road, which it handled really well.
I actually preferred driving on dirt than on some rougher bitumen roads in the area that made for a bouncy ride on the Kona's city-centric suspension.
Wining and dining
While you’re out and about you can visit the Maygars Hill Winery at Longwood East, which produces a limited amount of fine red wines sourced from Shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes hand-picked from its 2.4-hectare vineyard.
Interestingly, owners Jenny Haughton and Ian Dickson also have a mustard crop which is used to produce biofuel to power the farm’s tractor and Volkswagen Caddy van.
Maygars Hill doesn't have a restaurant but it does host special events.
It also has an award-winning cellar door and a pet-friendly three-bedroom cottage amongst the vines with great views of the Strathbogie Ranges. Prices start at $160 per couple.
The site of the vineyard named after Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Maygar, who earned the Victoria Cross during the Boer War for rescuing a comrade under heavy fire.
He went on to serve in the First World War, including Gallipoli, but later died from wounds received during the famous Battle of Bersheba in Palestine in October 2017.
A statue of Maygar and two other local Victoria Cross recipients, Lieutenant Frederick Tubb and Corporal Alexander Burton (both decorated for bravery at Gallipoli) are the main features of the VC Memorial Park in Euroa.
Just around the corner, you’ll find Northern Republic in the 150-year-old Old Flour Mill on Kirkland Avenue.
The huge wood-fired pizza oven betrays the Italian influences of this fine-dining establishment, whose menu includes authentic gourmet pizzas and spuntini (snack) dishes for sharing.
It also stocks a huge range of wines, many local to Victoria’s north-east region as well as some Italian varieties.
This is up there with one of the many great fine-dining experiences that have popped up in regional Victoria during recent years.
As well as the cottage at Maygar’s Hill there are several accommodation options in and around Euroa including caravan parks, bed and breakfasts and motels.
Because we stayed just the one night we chose the Jolly Swagman Motel on Clifton Street. The room was spacious, clean and comfortable and the service friendly, which made it a relative bargain for $135 per night.
EV charging and range
Euroa is situated off the Hume Freeway between Melbourne and Albury. It is just over 160km from each of them, but you'll want at least 200km range to be on the safe side in real-world conditions, particularly in summer when you’ll need air-conditioning.
There are also some decent hills to negotiate especially during the trip up from Melbourne.
I travelled from Melbourne and used about 40 per cent of the Kona's 65kw battery each way and averaged 14.8kW/100km getting there and 13.6kW/100km on the trip back.
The main reason for the lower consumption on the return journey is it’s mostly downhill from the Great Dividing Range at Seymour.
Coincidentally, I returned home with 162km range to spare when I arrived home.
I used the Chargefox station at the Shell Service centre on the Hume Freeway at Euroa, which has two 50kW rapid and two 350kW ultra-rapid chargers
The ultra-rapid charger took 39 minutes to charge the 65kW battery from about 34 to 84 per cent. The 33.74kWh charge was priced at 40c/kWh, for a total cost of $13.50.
That's pretty good for a full weekend of emissions-free driving that would have drained the fuel tank of a petrol-powered Kona.
The Chargefox station at Euroa has CCS2 and CHadeMO plugs, but there’s no joy if you want to charge your plug-in hybrid via a Type 2 port.
It is about a half-hour walk into town should you want to kill time during charging, or there are several food options at the service centre.
As mentioned above there is also a Tesla supercharger in the middle of Euroa on Kirkland Avenue, which has six 120kW rapid chargers.
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